Ohio fire chief takes unpaid leave after forgetting to renew certification

Hustead Fire Chief William Young, 74, said his expired card was stuck to a picture in his wallet

Springfield News Sun

HUSTEAD, Ohio — The Hustead Fire Department chief voluntarily took an unpaid leave of absence after he admitted he’d forgotten to renew his state firefighter certification three years ago.

Chief William Young’s leave was unanimously accepted Tuesday night by Green and Mad River Twp. trustees who were present during the joint government meeting. The department is jointly funded by the townships.

“After doing this job for 42 years, it’s been brought to my attention that I failed to renew my certificate of being a fireman. So at this time, I shall take an unpaid leave of absence until such time that I can complete the training to get the certificate renewed,” Young, 74, told the trustees.

Young, who has been with the department since 1955, told the Springfield News-Sun that he’d forgotten to renew because his certification card was out of sight in his wallet, stuck to a picture.

He became chief in 1972, he said.

“It was through my own error I let my card expire,” Young said. “I didn’t even know it until it was brought to my attention about a month ago.”

Trustees agreed to the one-year leave while Young completes a 36-hour course to renew his certification.

“We took (the certification course) for years and years and years, every three years. Then one of the guys came along and said, ‘Well, you don’t have to take it anymore,’ but you had to re-certify your card.” he said. “And that’s probably why I let it go because we didn’t take the test any more, so I forgot about it.”

Trustees also appointed Assistant Chief and Training Officer Larry Ridenour acting chief of the department during the leave. He will continue to make $900 quarterly.

Young’s pay of $350 monthly was suspended Tuesday.

Mad River Twp. Trustee Kathy Estep was absent from the meeting.

Copyright 2013 Springfield News-Sun
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